JOHNSON JR. RACES SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO SEMIFINAL-FINISH AT ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18, 2006) - Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal RacingSM Funny Car to a semifinal finish Sunday at Old Bridge Township...
JOHNSON JR. RACES SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO SEMIFINAL-FINISH AT ENGLISHTOWN
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18, 2006) - Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal RacingSM Funny Car to a semifinal finish Sunday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to complete eliminations at the 37th annual K&N Filters Supernationals. He remains sixth in the NHRA Funny Car standings.
After racing to the No. 10 qualifying position with a run of 4.836-seconds, the Iowa native defeated veteran racer Del Worsham and fellow Chevy driver Tim Wilkerson before falling to category leader Ron Capps in the semifinals. It is the second straight year that Johnson has advanced to the semifinal round at historic Raceway Park.
Starting from the bottom half of the field, the veteran nitro pilot used a tune-up from crew chief Mike Green to power his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Monte Carlo to a pass of 4.980 seconds at 315.12 mph to earn the round win over the fellow Chevy driver. Worsham's Monte Carlo lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.970-seconds.
For the second straight week, Johnson met Wilkerson during eliminations and for the second time in two weeks, Johnson knocked off Wilkerson's Chevy to advance. In a tire-smoking battle, Johnson took the narrow round win with a run of 5.597 to edge Wilkerson's time of 5.714. The Skoal Racing Monte Carlo broke a clutch lever on the run.
In round three, the former teammates used solid reaction times, but Johnson's Skoal Racing flopper lost traction forcing Johnson to pedal the throttle. He cruised to a run of 5.587 seconds, while Capps drove his green Funny Car to a run of 5.021 at 314.39 to advance to the final round. Johnson now sits less than four rounds of racing from third ranked driver Robert Hight in the NHRA standings.
"From not in the show on Saturday morning to the semifinals is a nice recovery for the team," Johnson said. "They did a great job. We ran well in the first round, but we broke a clutch arm in the second round. I out-pedaled (Tim) Wilkerson to the finish line. We didn't really know if it was that or the track conditions that caused it to smoke the tires. Mike (Green) and the guys just didn't have enough information to go off of for the semis. They made some changes, but it was just really tough conditions out there today. Overall, it was a nice weekend for our team."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 10th annual O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, June 23-25, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. near St. Louis.